Tag Archives: Olek Czyz

Czyz will transfer from Duke

Czyz tied for the dunk contest earlier this season - BDN Photo
Czyz tied for the dunk contest earlier this season - BDN Photo

DURHAM, N.C. – Sophomore forward Olek Czyz has decided to leave Duke University, school officials announced Friday. Czyz leaves Duke in good academic standing and is expected to transfer to another Division I school.

Czyz started the first two games of the 2009-10 season and played in six of the team’s nine contests on the year. He averaged 2.5 points and 2.0 rebounds in 10.2 minutes per game while shooting .583 (7-of-12) from the field.

“Olek has a bright future ahead of him and we wish him the best of luck,” said Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski. “He has been a valued member of the Duke Basketball family and we will support him through his impending transfer.”

A 6-7, 240-pound native of Gdynia, Poland, Czyz saw action in 19 career games at Duke finishing with 23 points, 24 rebounds, eight assists, one block and two steals.

N.C. Pro Am Report – Duke freshman Mason Plumlee leads team to semi finals

Plumlee defens Singler in an earlier Pro Am game - Rick Crank Photo
Plumlee defens Singler in an earlier Pro Am game - Rick Crank Photo

The North Carolina Pro Am is winding down and Mason Plumlee and Team Duhon take to the court today at 3:00 in the semi finals.  While Plumlee is the last Dukie standing on a winning team, his teammates are likely to be added to rosters which is common practice in this event.

Team Duhon won last evenings nightcap 69-60 over to advance to today’s semi final.  Mason Plumlee led all scorers with 20 points to go with a bushel of rebounds.  He was aided by South Carolina bound Lakeem Jackson who tallied 15.  Jackson was his teammate at Christ School in Arden, North Carolina.

Rising high school senior and UNC bound Reggie Bullock had perhaps his best games (played twice) on Friday.  Bullock looked smooth and added 14 points for the winner.

Brian Zoubek scored 16 points for the losers and his teammate Olek Czyz went for 3 points.   Zoubek is averaging 15.5 in his two games played.

Miles Plumlee has gained some weight in the off season and he scored 12 points to go with 9 rebounds.  His team lost and Miles had several points missed where he didn’t finish or the ball rimmed out.  He finished 6 of 15 from the field.

Kelly snares a board - Rick Crank Photo
Kelly snares a board - Rick Crank Photo

Team Navy took out Team Starkey 71-67 where a comeback effort sparked by Reggie Bullock [19 points] fell short.  Duke freshman to be Ryan Kelly added 15 points on 6 of 13 shooting from the field and 4 rebounds.  Jerry Stackhouse added just 6 points in the loss.

On the other side, John Wall added 15 points and looked really good coming off a sensational effort the evening before.  Wall looks to be an inch taller and has put on significant muscle or added size since I last saw him play.

We’ll break down the players overall play in the tournament on out message board on Monday.  Also, we’ll have a very nice photo gallery in the coming week.  All photos of Duke players may be purchased from Rick Crank.

NC Pro Am Report – Zoubek and Czyz make their debut

Zoubek and Plumlee went head to head - Rick Crank Photography
Zoubek and Plumlee went head to head - Rick Crank Photography

Two Duke players made their NC Pro Am debut on the last night of regularly scheduled games.  Brian Zoubek and Olek Czyz took to the court for Dreamworks to face Mason Plumlee and Team Duhon, a team atop the standings with just one loss.

Olek Czyz has returned back to Durham from his native country Poland, where he played for their national team while still mending from off season surgery.  Czyz, referred to as O.C. last year brought the house down with his dunking ability, but his first night back wasn’t as fruitful as years past.

Czyz played about ten minutes scoring 2 points grabbing a single rebound and making one steal.  Not the stat line he’d hope for, especially when you add the five fouls.  It seemed like the PA announcer was calling Olek’s number every minute or so.

Czyz played in the game which followed as well, but we do not have a full report on that game, nor the late evening nightcap where Miles Plumlee competed.

Brian Zoubek put up some solid numbers despite have three walks called on him.  Zoubs didn’t play in the second half, making his numbers stand out even more.  The seven footer didn’t miss a shot from the field on his way to 10 points, but he did miss from the charity stripe going 0-2 including an air ball.  Zoubs added 5 rebounds.

Olek Czyz - Rick Crank
Olek Czyz - Rick Crank

Team Duhon was without a coach and ten players deep, so they seemingly decided on equal playing time.  This meant that Mason Plumlee played sparingly compared to games before.  Plumlee scored 6 points on 2 of 4 shooting and was 2 of 4 from the line.  He had just 2 rebounds and a steal in about 19 minutes of play.

It is worth noting that Plumlee was accompanied by former Christ School teammate Lakeem Jackson [South Carolina] who wound up with 8 points.  Reggie Bullock [UNC 2010] was a non factor not scratching from the field for the losing team.  UNC’s Justin Watts led his team in scoring with 14 points.

The Dukies went at each other hard early in the game but played sparingly as opposed to other evenings.

The play offs start this evening and teams must win to continue into Saturday.

Today’s schedule -

6:00pm – PJTucker  vs Hendricks

7:00pm – Team Navy vs Starkey

8:00pm – Lucky 7 2 vs E-net

9:00pm – Duhon vs Dreamworks

Olek Czyz undergoes surgery

BDN Photo
BDN Photo

DURHAM, N.C. – Duke sophomore Olek Czyz had arthroscopic surgery on his right knee last week to remove loose cartilage. The surgery was successfully performed by Dr. Dean Taylor and Czyz is expected to be out of action for the next four weeks.

“Olek had a minor knee surgery last week and is expected to make a full recovery,” said head coach Mike Krzyzewski. “We are looking forward to Olek getting back out on the court to continue his development in our program.”

Czyz, a Reno, Nevada, product, played in 13 games as a true freshman. He scored eight points and grabbed 12 rebounds in 51 minutes. Czyz helped the Blue Devils to a 30-7 record, the ACC Championship and a Sweet 16 appearance in 2008-09.

Getting to the Point (and the Post)!

scheyer-iiAfter Duke’s Sweet 16 loss to Villanova, on March 27, Coach Krzyzweski was asked, “Does this in any way make you more eager to find a post player who can really score?” He answered, “And a point. And we feel — it’s not like we haven’t tried to find them. A couple of them have gone to other schools right at the last second. We were like a three-headed monster on offense. And it carried us a long way, but it couldn’t — they played a lot of five against three tonight.”

The Blue Devils may end up with a top rated point guard but it will not be from the Class of 2009. Eric Bledsoe and John Wall have signed with Kentucky, while Darius Smith decided to head East to Connecticut. Those three point guards all had Duke on their list, but the Blue Devils have most likely finished up their recruiting for this year and did not bring in a point guard to complement 6’11 Mason Plumlee and 6’9″ Ryan Kelly two McDonald’s All-Americans who will potentially provide Coach Krzyzewski considerable depth in the front court. The recruiting focus now shifts to 2010.

For this coming season, point guard duties will remain with Senior Jon Scheyer, a 6’5″ wing guard, and Junior Nolan Smith, a 6’3″ combo guard. While neither Scheyer nor Smith is a true point guard, both players bring point guard skills onto the court. When the two play together those skills combine to create a point guard who, while not spectacular, is certainly solid.

Jon Scheyer protects the basketball which results in a minimal number of turnovers. After Scheyer led Duke to the ACC Championship and was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player, Kyle Singler commented, “He makes plays for himself and others. That spot for us, when Jon has been there, has been huge for us.” For the season, Scheyer recorded a 1.8:1 assists to turnover ratio, while averaging 14.9 points per game. Defensively, Scheyer is a tremendous off-the-ball defender who led Duke with 1.6 steals per game.

Nolan Smith’s key skills are on-the-ball defense and the ability to finish at the rim. When he is healthy, Smith is a player who makes Duke a stronger team. Staying healthy has been a bit of a challenge for Smith over his first two seasons as a Blue Devil. He missed three games, late this past regular season, after suffering a concussion and bruised ribs in a game at Maryland. As a freshman, Smith was slowed down the stretch after hyper-extending his knee. With Duke being thin in the backcourt this coming season, it is imperative Smith avoid any significant injuries such as the concussion as well as the nagging little problems of his freshman year.

Last season, the three headed monster Coach Krzyzewski alluded to was: Kyle Singler, Gerald Henderson, and Jon Scheyer. The three combined to average 47.9 points per game which represents 72 percent of the team’s points. With Gerald Henderson gone to the NBA, Coach Krzyzewski will be looking for a couple of players to step up their consistency on offense. Nolan Smith, who averaged 8.4 points per game last season, is a likely candidate as is Elliot Williams, who averaged 4.2 points.

As a freshman, Williams came on strong, after being inserted into the starting line-up, averaging 7.3 points over the last 12 games. Williams brings exceptional athleticism onto the court and has the ability to play pressure defense. He needs to develop a consistent jump shot and must improve on his woeful free throw percentage, but Blue Devil fans should look for Williams to be a significant factor in the rotation from day one especially if he makes the type of freshman-to-sophomore improvements prevalent in the college game.

Coach Krzyzewski will only have three guards at his disposal next year so look for Kyle Singler to spend major minutes at small forward. Duke will have to play a larger line-up out of necessity and the competition for playing time should be fierce. Seniors Lance Thomas and Brian Zoubek have started 62 and 21 games respectively during their first three seasons in Durham. They have the advantage of understanding Coach Krzyzewski’s defensive system and will be looking to have breakout senior seasons. Neither player has proven to be a consistent offensive option but both have their niche. Thomas is a versatile defender who is valuable in a fast tempo contest, while Zoubek is an extremely talented passer out of the high post. Zoubek made 82.8 percent of his free throw attempts as a junior.

Sophomore Miles Plumlee and freshmen Mason Plumlee and Ryan Kelly will be intent on taking away playing time from the two experienced seniors. Miles Plumlee looked lost on the court at times during his freshman season but also showed flashes of talent. He is mobile and should benefit from the standard freshman-to-sophomore improvement. His brother, Mason Plumlee is a player many analysts believe has the ability to make an immediate impact. Time will tell. Ryan Kelly is a wiry outside-in player with 3-point range. Kelly won the 3-point shooting contest at this year’s McDonald’s All-American game.

Out of those five frontcourt options, someone needs to step up and establish themselves as a consistent offensive threat. As Coach Krzyzewski stated in March, Duke played a lot of three on five last year and the lack of an interior offensive threat hurt the team. Zoubek and both the Plumlees have the size to be an impact post player what remains to be seen is if they can develop the game to get the job done. Thomas and Kelly are players who need to provide minutes at power forward so Singler can play on the wing.  Sophomore Olek Czyz is a wild card and could compete for playing time at power forward due to his leaping ability and strength, or see duty on the wing due to the lack of backcourt players.

Singler, Scheyer, Smith, and Williams will be the core of next year’s rotation. The question is who will be players five, six, and seven? The answer will be interesting but Duke Fans will have to wait until next year and ACC games in January before knowing the answer. In the meantime, it is only late spring and a whole summer of starting line-up and minutes per game speculation lies in front of us not to mention summer pick-up game reports. I’ll see you all on the message boards!